Plant Common Name
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Supplying four-season interest to temperate landscapes, the Korean barberry dazzles with pretty flowers, fruits and rich fall foliage. This semi-evergreen shrub is native to the Korean peninsula and Japan. Its bark is reddish brown and the twigs are densely armed with short spines in groups of one to five. These flattened spines look like tiny duck feet. This barberry also suckers from its base, making it rather difficult to manage.
The elliptical leaves are green. In mid-spring, pendulous clusters of yellow flowers dangle just below the leaves along branches. Tiny oval fruits ripen to bright red by mid-fall and then persist across the winter. The fall foliage color is late to develop, attaining shades of red to purple.
Korean barberry is amazingly tolerant of all soil types and textures as long as there is no waterlogging. It is also salt tolerant and responds well to pruning. Plant it in full to partial sun for best performance, but partial shade is okay. Use this shrub as an impenetrable hedge, mass planting, or screen. It'd also be a pretty addition to a foundation bed or mixed border. Cultivar 'Red Tears' produces an exceptional fruit display on slightly more arching branches.
AHS Heat Zone
7 - 1
USDA Hardiness Zone
3 - 7
1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17
Full Sun, Partial Sun, Partial Shade
4'-6' / 1.2m - 1.8m
3'-5' / 0.9m - 1.5m
Spring, Late Spring
Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline
Clay, Loam, Sand
Drought Tolerant, Average Water
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter